San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) Children Deserve Success program held its annual holiday celebration event on Dec. 10. This year’s event stopped at three transitional sites in San Bernardino.
“I’m honored to be part of this amazing opportunity to spread holiday cheer to the students who need it most,” said County Superintendent Ted Alejandre. “The amazing folks with Children Deserve Success consistently deliver a holiday celebration that delights the children and helps alleviate some of the strain the holidays can cause for families experiencing challenges.”
The holiday procession included County Superintendent Ted Alejandre, SBCSS staff members dressed as Santa Claus and Buddy the Elf and members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The procession was led by a fire engine from the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
Tony Moore, a motivational speaker known by his superhero persona, The Motivator, and his Warriors also accompanied SBCSS staff.
The celebration kicked off at 4:00 p.m. at the Time for Change Foundation’s Phoenix Square location. The county superintendent and SBCSS delivered approximately 40 holiday gift bags to students served by SBCSS programs. The bags contained gifts from the children’s wish lists, books, a warm coat and healthy snacks provided by community partners. Law enforcement officers also distributed restaurant gift cards to the children. The children’s mothers watched with smiles on their faces.
“It’s amazing. The love that I feel in my heart from strangers, people I don’t even know. We really, really are so grateful,” said Kayla Irving, a mother of 2 and a client at Time for Change Foundation.
She shared that she and her children were living in a car going from motel to motel up until recently and was worried about how to get Christmas presents for her children.
“To take the time to show that they care, show that they care for our children, I cry happy tears at night because I’m in awe of it,” said Irving. “I just thank everybody for giving us this opportunity, because I couldn’t have done this myself.”
The Time for Change Foundation assists and empowers disenfranchised women and their children. They help families achieve self-sufficiency by providing housing and other supportive services.
“Each year, Time for Change Foundation looks forward to partnering with the Superintendent of Schools to ensure that children in transition experience the love and joy of Christmas,” said Time for Change Foundation Executive Director Vanessa Perez. “Most of our children have never experienced being together on Christmas morning with their mothers and this event allows our families to enjoy that experience together.”
The holiday procession also visited two other local sites, the Salvation Army and Veronica’s Home of Mercy. In total, over 100 children received holiday gift bags during this event.
The SBCSS Children Deserve Success program has conducted this annual holiday celebration since 2004. Each year, SBCSS staff, as well as their families and friends, volunteer to sponsor wish lists provided by each child identified by the Children Deserve Success tutoring program.
This year, community partners included Child Assistance Fund, San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, Highland Congregational Church, Inland Empire Health Plan, San Bernardino County Teachers Association, Fifth District PTA and The Home Depot.
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